James J. Fagan (‘67 BFA, ‘70 MFA)
James J. Fagan earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in theatre from West Virginia University in 1967.
He entered the University in 1962 as a student-athlete on the Mountaineer football team, but after an injury and an illness, he decided to concentrate on his drama career. During his undergraduate years, Fagan was the first operator of the College of Creative Arts Puppetmobile, president of Kappa Alpha fraternity, a member of Mountain and an officer in ROTC.
After significant graduate work toward a master’s degree in theatre, he left Morgantown for New York City where he found his niche in the advertising and broadcasting industry. His contributions to the industry as an actor/voice-over narrator for television commercials and other broadcast related activities are among the most numerous and of the highest quality in the world.
Fagan has been the voice of NBC sports promotions since 1989. He has been the voice behind the Olympic Games, the NFL, the NBA, Notre Dame Football, Wimbledon and the Arena Football League. Since 1991, he has been narrator and host of NBA Action, an internationally syndicated weekly show. Fagan is the voice for Madison Square Garden Network promos and voice behind news promotions for TV stations around the country.
In the genre of television commercials, including voice-overs, Fagan has made many notable contributions while remaining virtually anonymous. He has been involved with American Express, Geico, USA Today, Visa International, Kellogg’s, Sensodyne and Canon Copiers to name a few.
He served as spokesman for the U.S. Steel Corporation and the American Gas Association and from 1979-83, he appeared on-camera with Lee Iacocca for Chrysler. In addition, he has narrated numerous national public service announcements.
Fagan has always taken time to serve WVU. He is past chair of the WVU Alumni Association. He has lent his talents to numerous University projects including: serving as on-camera spokesman for WVU recruiting commercials, writing and narrating a College of Creative Arts image film; narrating the Campaign for West Virginia film; and narrating the Building Greatness Campaign video. He is also one of the leaders who successfully restored the New York/New Jersey Metro Chapter of the WVU Alumni Association.